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New Jersey Senate Republicans

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Pennacchio Requests Education Commissioner Cerf Provide Information on “Common Core” Implementation

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Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) today, along with many members of the Senate Republican Caucus, sent the attached letter to state Department of Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf requesting information on the implementation and reasoning behind the state’s acceptance of the Common Core State Standards.

CCSS is a set of standards for New Jersey students adopted in 2010. Students will be tested on the standards beginning next year.

“There have been a number of legitimate questions raised about the implementation and reasoning behind CCSS that should be addressed,” said Pennacchio. “There’s little as important as assuring a quality education for our children and we need to make certain when there are significant changes made as to how that education is evaluated that those changes are understood and in the best interests of the future of all students. Transparency on issues like the cost of these changes and the security of the data kept on students is rightly expected by taxpayers and families alike.”

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Bill Affording Police at Private Colleges Immunity From Certain Civil Liabilities Passed by Senate

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The Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman affording private colleges and their police officers immunity from civil liabilities for damages directly related to the lawful exercise of the officers’ authorized police powers.

The measure, S2344, would protect the officers from liability from incidents involving the general public if they happen to be on the campus. Current law only offers protection for incidents involving students and faculty and any other “beneficiary” covered under the Charitable Immunity Act.

“Officers at private colleges have a myriad of responsibilities like responding to emergencies, enforcing laws and protecting visitors and students,” said Bateman (R-Somerset, Hunterdon, Mercer and Middlesex). “So long as they are obeying the law and not abusing their powers, officers performing these types of vital public safety functions on campus shouldn’t be held liable for lawsuits and damages that occur as result of their actions.

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Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Resolution to Help Sandy Victims Rebound Adopted

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A bipartisan resolution sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to ease the financial hardship of homeowners who had to withdraw from their retirement plans to pay for damage caused by Superstorm Sandy was adopted by the full Senate today.

Senator Bateman’s resolution, SR125, urges Congress to not penalize residents who were forced to use their 401K funds to pay for damage the storm caused to their homes or property. Under current law, the amount of any 401K hardship distribution is considered taxable income, subjected to an additional 10 percent tax as an early withdrawal and the individual is prohibited from making further salary contributions to the plan for six months.

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill Addressing Doctor Shortage in New Jersey Passes Senate

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) that establishes a physician loan redemption program for certain specialties was passed by the full Senate today. The bill is based on a recommendation in a report issued by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals that said loan forgiveness is one of the top factors that medical residents look for in determining a practice.

The report found New Jersey is facing significant future shortages in both primary care and several specialty areas. In eleven years there is a projected 12 percent shortfall in the physician supply versus the likely population demand for services.

“It’s critical we take steps now to attract more doctors to New Jersey and draw more physicians to needed specialties,” said Singer. “Incentives like loan redemption programs are a great start to making our communities more competitive in attracting and retaining the best-trained physicians in the fields needed most.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty Introduces Legislation Designating Rt. 173 Between Clinton & Phillipsburg as “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway”

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Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) has introduced legislation that would designate Route 173 between Clinton in Hunterdon County and Phillipsburg in Warren County as the “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” in honor of the brigade’s many years of heroism and sacrifice in defense of our country’s freedom.

“From service in France during World War I to recent deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ‘Sky Soldiers’ of the 173rd Airborne Brigade have distinguished themselves for nearly a century,” said Doherty. “It is fitting that we honor the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s service and sacrifice by naming part of Rt. 173 in their honor.”

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Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Bill Establishing Zero Tolerance for Huffing and Driving Advanced

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho making it illegal to drive under the influence of any amount of a prohibited inhalant, such as glue or aerosol, was advanced today by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

The bill, S2064, is designated as “Kimmie’s Law” in recognition of Kimberly Goupil, a 16-year-old Hampton Township teen who was killed in a car crash on Aug. 10, 2007 by a driver initially suspected by law enforcement of driving under the influence of inhalants.

“Kimmie’s Law should put drivers on notice that there will be zero-tolerance towards this type of irresponsible, reckless behavior,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “No family should have to deal with the tragedy of losing a loved one because of the selfish action of a driver who got behind the wheel while high. This bill now makes it clear that huffing and driving won’t be tolerated at any level.

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Senator Mike Doherty

Doherty: Jersey City’s Hypocrisy on Property Taxes

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Senator Michael Doherty (R-23) said that Jersey City’s reported plan to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over what Mayor Steven Fulop has called “unfair and outdated tax agreements” is just the latest hypocrisy from the city when it comes to property taxes.

“Jersey City wants everyone other than its own residents to pay the city’s bills,” said Doherty. “Mayor Fulop claims long-standing tax agreements with the Port Authority have caused a ‘severe negative impact on Jersey City taxpayers,’ yet he makes no mention of the $2 billion of questionable tax exemptions that the city has doled out which shifts the burden of maintaining city services to other Hudson County and state taxpayers.”

A report issued by the Office of the State Comptroller in 2010, “A Programmatic Examination of Municipal Tax Abatements,” notes (page 12) that the use of tax abatements results in Jersey City “not collecting approximately $120 million in property taxes on exempted property.”

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Senator Bob Singer

Singer Bill to Establish Procedures and Certification Program for Mold Inspection, Remediation Advanced by Senate Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer that would help assure best practices are utilized in the inspection and cleanup of mold in residential buildings and school facilities was advanced Thursday by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. The measure would also establish a certification program for mold abatement and inspection workers

“In the aftermaths of Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy many property owners have been left to deal with mold after moving back into flooded out homes,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “By establishing clear procedures for mold inspection and remediation, families will be better informed about the safety of their home and can have greater assurance that work performed on their home is done properly.”

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Senator Tom Kean

Kean Re-Elected Senate Republican Leader

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The Senate Republican Caucus today re-elected Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Union, Morris) as its leader for the 2014-2015 session.

“I’m honored to again lead the Republican Caucus in the Senate and I thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support,” said Kean. “The responsibility to my caucus and all New Jerseyans is one I hold with great respect. I look forward to working with Governor Christie, Steve, Jon and Vincent.”

Senator Kip Bateman

Bateman Measures to Help Sandy Victims Rebound Advanced by Senate Committee

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Two bipartisan measures sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman to assist and protect homeowners and residents working to rebound from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy were advanced today by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Senator Bateman’s bipartisan S2976 would safeguard homeowners elevating their homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy by establishing new consumer protection standards for home elevation contractors. The bill would require home elevation contractors to register with the state Division of Community Affairs, to have at least two years of field experience under the guidance of another experienced home elevation contractor, to have proper jacking equipment capable of safely lifting the home and to have sufficient insurance to cover the homeowner.

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Republican Senators

Tom Kean

District 21 - Republican Leader

Kip Bateman

District 16

Chris Brown

District 2

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Gerald Cardinale

District 39

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

District 23

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Steven Oroho

District 24

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Robert Singer

District 30

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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